Twenty year-old Archibald McNish Fraser arrived in Brisbane from his native Scotland in 1880, just in time for the boom time in the colony. He had served an apprenticeship in the building trade prior to emigrating, and so set himself up as a builder, then established a real estate business. Here is an advertisement he ran in the Brisbane Courier in June 1886:
GENTLEMEN in search of Desirable SITES for RESIDENCES will find it to their advantage to call on A. MᶜNISH FRASER, 149 Queen-street, next Finney, Isles, & Co.'s, upstairs. Beautiful Site at Sherwood, 10 acres, next the station. Oxley: Grand Site, 18 acres, fronting the river, next Mr. Collins's residence. Also magnificent Property of 5 acres, overlooking tho Racecourse, Eagle Farm, planted with Fruit Trees. Prices tempting. A. MᶜNISH FRASER will at any time drive intending purchasers to the above and others equally as good.
In 1887, he built his house "Dunaverty" in Albion. The house features fine detailing including a thistle motif in the iron fretwork and replicated in interior wood-work.
(Photos: "More Historic Homes of Brisbane", National Trust of Queensland & Ray Summer)
Fraser achieved considerable success in his business ventures, and remained at Dunaverty until the early 1890s. His firstborn, a son, was delivered at the house in March 1891. Fraser bought several allotments of land at the newly surveyed suburb of Yeronga in the same year, but whether he intended to move there is not known. Along with other entrepreneurs, Fraser was caught in the inevitable "bust" that followed the boom of the 1880s, and had to sell not only the Yeronga land but also the family home.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)
Dunaverty still stands at Albion in Brisbane's near northern suburbs. After Fraser and his family left their home it was purchased by investors and remained a tenanted property for many years. Unfortunately, during a period when the house was vacant, a good deal of the interior cedar and iron-work was stolen.
Click here for a Google Map.